Drunk driver sentenced to 6 years for I-29 crash that killed 58-year-old husband
PLATTE CITY, Mo. — A drunk driver who rear-ended another car on I-29, killing the driver, has been sentenced to six years in prison. Nicholas Sanders, 25, of Platte City, received the sentence Thursday after pleading guilty in November 2017 to involuntary manslaughter in the first degree.
Sanders admitted to driving drunk and causing a crash that killed Michael Sear, 58, who was in another vehicle with his wife. They had just left KCI Airport. Troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to northbound I-29, south of Mexico City Avenue, in the early morning hours of May 28, 2016. They found two vehicles in the median.
Troopers say Sanders smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes, and slurred his speech. Sanders admitted to drinking that night. His blood-alcohol content registered .313, according to investigators, well above the legal limit of .08. He told police he’d been to a local bar where he drank three beers and three shots of whiskey.
During sentencing, Sear’s wife told the court that she lost her soul mate, the love of her life, and remains physically and emotionally broken as a result of the crash. Click here for Fox 4’s conversation with Dana Sear, who was married to Michael for nearly 16 years. They were due to celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary in June 2016, and the crash occurred at the end of May 2016.
Dana Sear said she and Michael never knew what was approaching them from behind.
“We didn’t see headlights or anything. All of a sudden there was a noise, and we were spinning,” she told Fox 4 after the deadly crash. “It felt like we were moving. Not just moving, it felt like we were going to tip over, but it didn’t. It didn’t feel like we were on the ground.”
“This completely avoidable crash brought a tragic end to a loving marriage. One spouse is dead and the surviving spouse will live with the pain this drunk driver caused for the rest of her life. Please, if you’re going to drink, just don’t drive,” Eric Zahnd, Platte County prosecuting attorney said. “An innocent man is dead because this defendant got behind the wheel after drinking. In the age of Uber, there is no excuse for drinking and driving.”